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Unforeseen Foreign Material Management from Supplier Product

Foreign Material Supplier Management Food Safety Hazardous Foreign Material

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Posted 18 April 2018 - 03:00 PM

We are dealing with foreign material/foreign bodies from incoming product (raw meat).  We make an all natural product and most of the product we receive is Grass Fed/Organic/Non-GMO.  Because of the our process, all of the raw meat that we use must be frozen (or slightly tempered).  This typically means that the product is in bulk, frozen blocks, weighing between 10lbs - 40lbs each, and we are unable to see the interior of the product until we have processed most of it, in a grinder.


We have been noticing rampant foreign material (plastic liners - not from our facility, hard pieces of plastic, gloves, wood).  We are able to rule out our processing facility as the origin of the foreign material.  


While we have our initial checks from our front line operators, there are times that the foreign material will migrate through our system and into our finished product.


Can anyone give me pointers or ideas on a better way to mitigate this risk?  As of right now, my only tangible idea is to have the operators do a clean out every now and then to create a separation in order to contain a contamination.  While this has helped to salvage product, I feel like this is intrusive but I have no other ideas.





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Posted 18 April 2018 - 03:44 PM

I've worked in meat packaging the cartons you are speaking of...........each product had to be sampled once/hour for foreign material because it was being frozen and wouldn't /couldn't be inspected at customer, which your supplier is obviously not doing.


I would start tempering out a carton or two (2% of the total that you purchased for each type) for re inspection prior to use..........communicate to your vendor that this is what you are going to start doing because the rate of failure is so high (assuming of course they are aware of the problem already) and receive materials ON HOLD


My guess is that they are NOT doing product inspections at all, if you implement a hold and release program that MAY end up in refusal of the load/return to supplier, they will hopefully improve



Do you have a written supplier requirement for the product in question?  I.e. an acceptable level of foreign materials, temperature at receiving, age of product etc


Not sure what commodity (beef pork etc) but here is a link to the CFIA poultry reinspection requirements that can assist you in this process


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Posted 18 April 2018 - 08:49 PM

Agree with Scampi, move your inspections earlier and more frequent, put the material on hold and demand refunds. You should have a specification for this product that includes "free of foreign material" or some such. This puts you at high risk for recall.


Refunds have a way of making suppliers comply.

Austin Bouck
Owner/Consultant at Fur, Farm, and Fork.
Consulting for companies needing effective, lean food safety systems and solutions.

Subscribe to the blog at furfarmandfork.com for food safety research, insights, and analysis.


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Posted 19 April 2018 - 01:07 AM



I suggest suppliers audit, on that, you can do ocular inspection and could suggest to your suppliers to mitigate presence of FB/FO in their products.





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Posted 19 April 2018 - 04:37 AM

Hi katie,


I assume this is a continuing supply from a specific supplier and that the defect is major/repetitive. I also assume alternative suppliers exist.


Having encountered analogous problems with other products,  if the situation cannot be improved after discussion with supplier, it usually means IMEX that (a) the supplier does not believe it is a significant problem and/or (2) the supplier cannot/ is not prepared to improve the "defect".


Accordingly  you have a real headache.


I concur with the operational / monetary suggestions in Posts 3,4. For the latter i suggest to deduct additional processing charges incurred from payment for subsequent lot. Be prepared to hear screams of surprise.

IMEX, assuming logistically feasible, it is preferable to perform a direct audit, not a 3rd party one. Seeing is believing.

Kind Regards,



Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: Foreign Material, Supplier Management, Food Safety, Hazardous Foreign Material

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